Return of Olympic hopes

Beijing Olympics hammer throwing medallists Ivan Tikhon and Vadim Devyatovsky back on the circuit

By Alexander Kazimirov

The athletes were removed from official events for three years, following a court ruling regarding suspicion of doping abuse. The charges have now been overturned, leaving the Belarusian athletes ready to win back their shattered reputations.

The head coach of the Belarusian athletics team, Anatoly Baduev, notes that Tikhon and Devyatovsky will return at the end of April, when Brest will be hosting a traditional event dedicated to the USSR Honoured Coach, Yevgeny Shukevich. Vadim and Ivan are then scheduled to compete in May and June, hoping to qualify for the Olympics later this summer.

In fact, five more Belarusian hammer throwers are hoping to qualify for the Olympics in London: Pavel Krivitsky, Yuri Shayunov, Valery Svyatokho, Sergey Kolomoets and Oleg Dubitsky. “The contract with the Belarusian Ministry of Sports outlines that, one month before the Olympics in London, I have to qualify for the Games,” notes Vadim Devyatovsky. “Our country aims to send three hammer throwers to London, so the qualification level is 78m. For countries sending just one athlete, they only need to throw 74m. However, the national team may set its target at about 80-81m; this is quite attainable for me at the moment, judging by my physical shape.”

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